European Women’s Hockey League 2022-23 Regular Season Standings
Salavat Yulaev defeated Traktor for the second time this season as the home team continues its inconsistent form. The visitor, meanwhile, improves to four wins from five and moves to fifth in the East. Ufa also spoiled Anvar Gatiyatulin’s big day: the Traktor head coach marked his 300th game behind the bench in the KHL, but could not even find a goal to celebrate from his team.
Traktor handed a debut to Canadian goalie Andrew Hammond, while Salavat Yulaev was missing the suspended Ryan Murphy on defense. Young D-man Alexander Komarov came into the team for the first time this season, while Sergei Shmelyov returned from illness.
Hammond was in for a busy debut. He faced 18 shots in the first period, and was beaten once. Shakir Mukhamadullin was the scoring, firing home from the blue line on the second power play of the game.
In the middle frame, Traktor improved – as it needed to, if it was to get anything from the game. However, it was Ufa who scored again, and once again it was a defenseman on the scoresheet at Mikhail Naumenkov scored through traffic in front of Hammond.
Two power plays came and went, but there was no breakthrough for the home team. At the other end, Salavat Yulaev continued to create opportunities, twice hitting the piping before Pavel Koledov joined the attack to complete the scoring. Andrei Kareyev, back in the team after four games, made 25 saves for his shut-out.
This game had it all. 11 goals, three of them in the last 91 seconds, and a shock win as struggling Neftekhimik halted Metallurg’s winning streak.
The home team made several changes ahead of this game. Arkhip Nekolenko returned, just in time to replace fellow center Josh Currie who is still feeling the after effects of Alexei Emelin’s hit. Vladislav Yeryomenko and Valery Orekhov took the places of Pavel Akolzin and Ilya Khokhlov, with young Nikita Grebyonkin named as 13th forward. By contrast, Neftekhimik head coach Oleg Leontyev rewarded the players who secured the teams first win of the season and named an unchanged team.
There was little indication of what was to come in the early stages. Metallurg, as expected, took the early initiative and opened the scoring through Semyon Koshelev midway through the first period. Anthony Camara tied it up in the 17th minute and the game was level at the first intermission.
Cody Curran was one of the best players on the ice for Metallurg in the first period. In the second, though, his penalty helped Neftekhimik get in front when Vyacheslav Leshchenko converted the power play chance. Almost immediately, another penalty saw the visitor extend its advantage as Yohann Auvitu shrugged off the attentions of two opponents to fire in a wrist shot.
Ilya Vorobyov responded immediately, replacing Vasily Koshechkin with Eddie Pasquale and exchanging angry words with his team in a bid to fire up a response. It worked. Yegor Yakovlev set up Yegor Korobkin and it was 2-3 at the second intermission.
The third period turned into a scramble. Three times, Neftekhimik extended its lead, and three times Metallurg got back to within a single goal. However, the home team could not bridge that final gap. In the closing moments, with Pasquale benched in favor of an extra skater, Curran got it back to 4-5. Then came an empty net goal from Pavel Poryadin on 59:06, which seemed to be the final word. Magnitka wasn’t quite done, though, and Nekolenko’s second of the game made it 5-6 with 12 seconds left. Neftekhimik held on until the final hooter to record its second win of the season in memorable fashion.
Lokomotiv snapped a two-game losing streak, but had to work hard to overcome Severstal. It took three unanswered goals in the third period to settle this game, with the visitor blowing a 3-1 lead.
Severstal started fast and got ahead in the second minute through Alexander Suvorov. Loko enjoyed the better of the subsequent play and deservedly tied the game when a 5-on-3 power play helped Pavel Kraskovsky get a shooting chance from the faceoff circle.
However, penalty trouble soon struck the home team. Within a minute Yegor Korshkov was watching from the box as Robin Press restored Severstal’s lead. Then Stepan Nikulin’s interference call led to a second goal for Suvorov. The Steelmen had struggled to generate much offense, but scored from three of their six shots on goal in the first period. Loko’s starter Ivan Bocharov was replaced by Daniil Isayev.
Isayev went on to deny Severstal for the rest of the game. At the other end, Lokomotiv continued to press and Nikulin started the long journey back with a goal on the half-hour mark. Going into the third, there was still work to do. However, Georgy Ivanov’s tally early in the frame tied the scores, and from then on it felt like Loko was in charge of the game.
In keeping with what came before, penalties shaped the conclusion. Just five seconds separated offenses by Severstal’s Semyon Lugovyak and Maxim Kazakov. The double power play produced two goals for Lokomotiv, with Andrei Sergeyev and Rushan Rafikov taking the game away from Severstal at last. The visitor tried to rally in the closing stages, but Isayev kept the door closed.
Friday’s action in Moscow also saw a fightback. Spartak trailed by three against Torpedo, but managed to tie the game in the third period before Roman Starchenko won it with his first goal since leaving Barys.
The opening 20 minutes belonged to the visitor, despite Spartak making a lively start. Torpedo gradually assumed control of the play and after Maxim Fedotov opened the scoring the visitor steadily took charge. Kenny Agostino’s power play tally doubled the lead, and young Vasily Atanasov added a third just before the hooter.
At the start of the second period, Patrik Rybar took over from starting goalie Alexei Krasikov to make the remainder of the game a Slovak netminding battle against Adam Huska. Rybar had that better of that duel, blanking Torpedo in the second period while his team-mates set about reducing the deficit.
Two penalties early in the session put the visitor under pressure, and this time Spartak was able to build on its promising start. Oddly, though, the Red-and-Whites’ first goal was a short-handed effort after two Torpedo players collided in center ice and Maxim Tsyplakov stole the puck and skated away to score. Then the home team’s pressing brought its reward when Ilya Talaluyev made it 2-3 in the 37th minute.
Spartak continued to press in the third, and drew level in the 48th minute when Danila Kvartalnov followed up his own shot and buried the rebound. By now, it was almost one-way traffic and Roman Starchenko put the home team in front for the first time midway through the final frame. That was Starchenko’s first of the season after his first weeks at Spartak were disrupted by injury.
Vityaz made a spirited recovery from 0-2 to force overtime before taking a shoot-out verdict thanks to youngster Stanislav Yarovoi.
The 19-year-old was playing only his second game in the KHL after making his debut in this week’s win over Amur. But the forward was entrusted with a penalty shot to win it in sudden death for Vityaz and complete a battling fightback.
After a goalless first period, Admiral got on top with a couple of goals at the start of the second. Rudolf Cerveny struck on the power play to open the scoring, then Alexander Gorshkov doubled the lead four minutes later.
On its recent losing streak, Vityaz might have crumbled at that point. However, Vyacheslav Butsayev’s team enjoyed a morale-boosting victory in its previous game and was psychologically ready to renew the battle here. Stepan Starkov pulled a goal back late in the second period, then Tayler Graovac tied the scores midway through the third.
That was enough to take the game to overtime.